In our current era, you can find a puppy to add to your family at the click of a button. However, separating the reputable puppy breeders from the irresponsible ones and/or dog scammers is another task entirely!
This is a topic that comes up time and time again as we talk to various puppy parents — some have been scammed in the past. Others are very new in the search process and just have no idea what to expect when working with a reputable breeder.
One common question and one that is fairly straightforward to answer is “What documentation or other papers should come with my puppy?”
For starters, this is a great question to ask your breeder as many send home a “goodie bag” of sorts with starter items such as toys, puppy pads, etc. In addition to some fun extras, there are some more critical items that you should be on the lookout for when you pick up your new doodle.
Get Veterinarian Records / Vaccine Paperwork from Your Breeder or Seller
First, any reputable breeder should be able to produce veterinarian records for their pups. All puppies are susceptible to a number of parasites and worms. Even in the most sanitary of environments, puppies can still be susceptible as they can even pick up worms in utero! As a result, all quality breeders regularly deworm their pups as a precaution and should be able to produce record of when this was done for you to take to your own veterinarian.
Secondly, puppies typically receive their first round of vaccinations at six weeks old. The current standard is for puppies to receive their DHPP vaccine (distemper, hepatitis, parvo, and parainfluenza). Your puppy should come with his first set of vaccines (or more if he is older than 10-12 weeks), but he will still need more rounds in the future, including the rabies vaccine which is not typically administered until the pup is around 16 weeks of age.
In addition to vaccines and deworming (which may be administered by a veterinarian or by the breeder himself), a pup from a reputable breeder should have proof of receiving a basic veterinarian check-up to ensure healthy eyes, heart, etc.
Make Sure There's An Electronic or Paper Contract With Your Puppy
Trusted breeders often have a thorough application process to screen potential buyers and ask their puppy parents sign a contract in order to ensure their pups are legally protected.
Examples of what one would expect to find in a standard contract would include a commitment to spay/neuter your doodle, the terms of the health guarantee (another important marker of a reputable breeder) and what should happen in the event you must return or rehome your pup.
Another aspect of the contract is that there should be some way to identify which pup you are getting. The lack of a contract would be a red-flag when it comes to irresponsible breeding or scams.
Other Optional Papers That May Come With Your Puppy
If you are purchasing a purebred dog recognized by the AKC or UKC, you can expect papers reflecting your pup’s pedigree and parents’ registration as well as documentation that your pup has been registered with the kennel club. This is a way for these organizations to keep track of various information related to dog breeds such as genetic diseases and population.
Doodle puppies and other “hybrid” dogs are not registerable by AKC or UKC as their lineage is typically not as exact — the various generations of doodles give this breed more variability than other purebreds. However, some breeders still register their doodles with other less popular kennel clubs such as CKC or GANA. If you are purchasing a doodle, this is typically not something you need to worry about since it is less common to register these breeds, but your breeder should be able to describe the parents’ lineage upon inquiry.
If your breeder microchips their pups ahead of time, then you should expect to receive a paper regarding how to register this microchip with your name and information as the new owner.
In addition to a couple helpful starter items like toys, many breeders also include a “scent item” to help the puppy adjust to his first time away from his littermates. A towel, blanket, or stuffed animal that has been with your pup, his mom, and his littermates is a great way to help your pup feel more at home during the biggest transition of his life and this can be a big help for the car ride home although we won’t promise that it will guarantee a quiet first few nights!
In addition to a scent item, most breeders will include some helpful information as you transition into life with your new pup. This should include training tips and what type of food your pup is used to eating (remember that it is important to stick with whatever food your pup has been used to eating with his breeder to avoid tummy upset! You may gradually transition to a different food if needed in the future.)
These information packets may seem like a lot to read through when you’ve got a fluffy bundle sitting on your lap, but your breeder knows your pup and specific breed best so it’s typically worth reading through their tips when it comes to training, scheduling, vet care, etc.
Make Sure You Have All Your Puppy Papers Before You Go
Picking up your new family member can be an exciting experience and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the paperwork that typically comes with a new pup. Snuggling with your pup is certainly more fun than reading vet records. But it is important to check your go-home pack to make sure that all of the important items are accounted for so that you are ensured a healthy pup from a trusted breeder.
Are you thinking about adding a Goldendoodle puppy to your family? The first step in adopting your new puppy is to fill out an application. You’ll describe what type of puppy you’d like to adopt, such as coloring, gender, and personality. For example, are you looking for a puppy who is energetic or more laid back? Do you prefer a pup with a solid or parti color coat?
You’ll also let us know your ideal timeframe and any specific needs you or your family may have. Once we receive your application, we will promptly review it and send you an email response. We’re here and ready to talk when you are!
Jenna and the JLDD Team